It’s been established many times over that the typical western diet of processed foods and animal products is inferior to a diet more focused on whole, plant foods. Well, a new study shows just exactly how many years you can add onto your life if you make the switch.
According to the study, men could increase their lifespan by 13 years if they started eating healthier when they turned 20, whereas women could add around 10 years. If a man started at 6o, they could add 9 years, and women could add 8. And men or women starting at 80 could extend their lives another 3.5 years.
Dr. David Katz, a specialist in medicine and nutrition, told CNN that he thought the diet could be improved even more because his impression was “it still allowed for considerable doses of meat and dairy.”
He added: “What they define as an ‘optimal’ diet is not quite optimal; it’s just a whole lot better than ‘typical.’”
The researchers who conducted the study analyzed information from the Global Burden of Disease study database, which keeps track of ailments, injuries, causes of death, and risk factors from populations all over the globe. The biggest gains in longevity come from eating legumes, whole grains and nuts.
Researchers from the study also point a finger at our public health systems for not doing more to prevent chronic diseases, which have been exacerbated in the pandemic. Basically, they say many more Covid deaths could have been avoided if we were only eating healthier.
Another factor for a healthier body is to eat less processed and red meats. However, it’s better just to keep away from meats entirely.
“The benefits are more pronounced when red and processed meats are replaced by plant protein sources,” said Dr. Frank Hu to CNN.
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